Embedding literacy coaches ‘absolute gold’ for one Tasmanian primary school


A primary school in Hobart’s northern suburbs has dramatically improved its students’ literacy by blending innovative ways of teaching with tried and true methods.

In 2016, senior staff at Rosetta Primary realised some students’ results were not improving as they should.

It sparked the curiosity of advanced skills teacher Deb Button — and her research and dedication have since led to a whole-of-school approach to teaching reading and spelling, including a method known as Multisensory Structured Language.

“It’s direct, explicit, it’s sequential, we constantly review what we do, and it also means they see it, they hear it and they feel it,” Ms Button said.

“When I say feel, I mean how it feels in your mouth when you say a word … and that improves what they hear, what they see, and how it comes out on paper.”

Part of its benefit was that it was more tangible to learners, Ms Button said.

Literacy coach and support teacher Deb Button says aspiration is key to improving literacy outcomes.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

“There’s not the — dare I say it — look, cover, write, check. ‘Here’s a worksheet, let’s have a test, we’ll do another test at the end of the week,'” she said.

“The reading and the spelling are so closely linked at the same time, so that means we hear it, we see it, we spell it … then we read it again.”

The model is promoted by the Australian Dyslexia Association, which notes the theory allows specially trained teachers to “adjust their teaching to meet the needs of the learners rather than expecting the learners to fit one way”.

Principal Deirdre Arendt said the results since implementing Multisensory Structured Language for students in grades one to three had blown her away.

“We’ve got students achieving across the board,” she said.

“Wherever they were at the beginning when they took this first assessment to the end of the year, it’s been well over a years’ growth of learning.

“That to us is absolute gold.”

Results a source of pride for Toby

A primary school boy smiles at the camera
Rosetta Primary School student Toby Shelton says he feels “very proud” about his progress.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Students appear to enjoy the new approach.

Toby Shelton, a seven-year-old in grade 1, said he struggled with “big, long words” but had learned to sound them out by “chopping” them into syllables.

“So you can say the first bit and the second bit and the third bit and the fourth bit. Then you can put it all together and say it in one big go,” he said.

“Long words kind of confuse me sometimes, but now I can see how it’s made up.”

Toby said it felt good to be able to read well compared to when he was “blind for words”. His favourite book is one on the Titanic, the Hindenburg and Boeing 747s.

Ms Button, just one of Rosetta Primary’s literacy coaches, said families were involved in their children’s learning too.

“I’ve had one parent say, ‘If only they’d done this when I was at school,'” she said.

“We’ve seen students who were not confident before who are willing to come and read, and the amount they’re reading has improved too … some of them are so hooked into reading, and we didn’t see that before.”

Annabel Graham is another grade 1 student benefiting from Rosetta Primary’s new approach.

She loves reading about dinosaurs and hopes to one day become a teacher.

“Because then I can teach students stuff that I’ve learned so there’ll be lots of smart people in the world,” she said.

Ms Button said aspiration was key: “By having that there, they all have a chance to succeed at a much higher level than they might’ve before.”

Improving literacy ‘a slow process’

A middle-aged woman sits in a classroom with two young students
Deb Button helps grade 3 students Sam Clifford (left) and Lasharne O’Brien with their literacy skills.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Tasmania’s public schools are allowed to choose their own methods of teaching in line with the Australian curriculum.

The state’s Education Department last year launched a Literacy Framework and Plan for Action, with the Government also pledging to allow all government schools access to literacy coaches.

Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff has set a target of 100 per cent functional literacy.

According to adult education service 26TEN, the existing figure among adults is about half that — in other words, 48 per cent of Tasmanians do not have the literacy and numeracy skills they need to live in a technologically driven society.

A review into the 26TEN service released this year said people with higher levels of literacy had a longer life expectancy.

“Accept that improving adult literacy is a slow process; with this in mind, the longer-term support and funding provided by the State Government is essential and represents persistence and sustainability,” the report said.

Ms Arendt, from Rosetta Primary, said paying for professional learning and the requisite relief teachers had not come cheap — but said it was more than worth it.

“If other schools are interested in doing a journey similar to ours, we’re more than happy to support and help in whatever ways we can,” she said.



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Tips For Using a Pressure Washer For Absolute Beginners


Tips For Using a Pressure Washer For Absolute Beginners


Tips For Using a Pressure Washer For Absolute Beginners : The pressure washer is used for cleaning purposes; e.g. cleaning the home’s interior, exterior, lawn, and the car. But the wrong use of a pressure washer can cause great damage. So, it’s important to do a little research before you go wrong or face any difficulty. In this article, we are giving some basic tips about the use of a pressure washer for absolute beginners. 

  • Terms You should know

    Before you go to buy a pressure washer to clean your home, you should know the following terms about the pressure washer, so that you can buy the right one for your needs.

    PSI pressure per square inch measures how much pressure is used by the machine, the bigger the PSI, the stronger the spray it can produce. A 4000 PSI pressure washer is more powerful than a 3000 PSI pressure washer.

    GPM gallons per minute, the flow rate of water, the higher the GPM, the less water-efficient the machine is.

    CU cleaning units= PSI×GPM.

    Generally, the higher the CU, the more powerful and efficient the machine is.

  • How to use Pressure Washer

    The higher pressure of water can harm your property. It can break windows, strip paint from your car, or gouge holes in bricks. Before you go to use a pressure washer, you should understand how to use it safely. When you are looking at how to start the pressure washer, you want to go with the setup process, then move onto your pressure either it was gas or electric.

  • Read the manual

    Remember to read the manual always, before you go to setup or start your pressure. The instructions manual will be your first guide to set it up and help you in starting your pressure in the right way. The next step will be checking which kind of pressure you have.

  • For gas washer

    For gas pressure washers, there are several steps to take to ensure that you are doing right. The following will make sure that you are using the equipment properly.

    • Check the oil and gas of the device, that they are full.
    • Attach the right hose to the washer.
    • Regulate the gas line.
    • Switch the engine ON
    • Depress and hold the spray wand trigger, so that if any pressure that has built up in the washer, can be released easily.
    • Pull the engine cord while you are still holding the trigger.
    • Close the engine’s airflow by regulating the choke down as you operate the pressure washer.

The following are the pros and cons of the gas pressure washer.

    • It can clean more efficiently and fast.
    • It is cordless, that you can move it anywhere, it does not require any power switch.
    • It needs maintenance, that you need to change oil periodically, also check fuel additives that you use for your pressure washer.
    • It is louder than an electric washer and produces emission that you cannot use it for indoor or a covered area.

The following are the pros and cons of the electric washer.

    • It does not emit any harmful emissions. You can use it for indoor use.
    • It does not require maintenance.
    • It needs a power switch to work. Because it works with electricity.
    • It is not portable as a gas pressure washer.

If you follow these steps to start your pressure. You will face no difficulty.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tips For Using a Pressure Washer For Absolute Beginners

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Mike Tyson’s ‘absolute power’ ahead of comeback


Boxing fans have been left fearing the worst for Roy Jones Jr after new footage of Mike Tyson surfaced on social media.

The 54-year-old is in incredible shape ahead of the exhibition bout on November 28th.

Footage shared by Shannon Briggs shows Tyson tensing his muscles with his shirt off.

The former Baddest Man on the Planet’s hard work in the gym has clearly paid off.

Former heavyweight champion Briggs added the caption: “Look at em y’all!!! ABSOLUTE POWER!”

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In response, one fan commented: “He’s done hibernating. Looks like old Mike is back. Be afraid.”

Another added: “Man I think Roy is in trouble! Roy’s the man, just as Tyson is, but I just can’t see Roy pulling this one off.”

One said: “I feel bad for RJJ. My two favourite boxers but Mike is a damn monster.”

And one predicted: “Mike Tyson is winning this in the first round.”

READ MORE: Tyson back to his terrifying best

READ MORE: How legend went from blimp to beast

Jones Jr, 51, has shockingly admitted “death is a possibility” when he squares off against Tyson.

Tyson’s trainer Rafael Cordeiro has insisted Tyson could ‘kill somebody’ — even at the age of 54.

And the WBC have had to change the rules of the exhibition bout over safety concerns.

The fighters, with a combined age of 105, will battle it out over eight two-minute rounds.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission



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Prime Day 2020: The 61 Absolute Best Deals (Updated)


It’s day two of Amazon Prime Day, gear heads! As Amazon continues to unleash and onslaught of deals, it can be tough to navigate the 80,000+ items available on sale, as well as those from competitors like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.

WIRED’s Gear team has been wading through it all around the clock, searching for the best deals on products we actually like. Whether you’re looking to get some early holiday shopping done, or just aiming to treat yourself to some discounted knick-knack or other, we’ve got you covered. These are the best deals we’ve come across, with a little information about each item based on our experiences.

Note: We strike through items that sell out or rise in price as we update this guide. Discounts sometimes return quickly, so check for yourself. You’ll need a subscription to Amazon Prime to get most of these deals.

Updated October 14: We crossed out some deals that have ended, and updated shipping times on some items.

WIRED’s Prime Day Coverage

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more.*

Phone and Smartwatch Deals

Photograph: Google

Tablet and PC Deals

Photograph: Microsoft 



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Thiago Alcantara profile: ‘Liverpool are picking up an absolute superstar’


Thiago has won the Champions League twice – with Barcelona in 2011 and Bayern Munich this year

Liverpool fans have been told they have signed an “absolute superstar” in Thiago Alcantara.

So just how good is the 2019-20 Treble winner, how does he compare to Liverpool’s current midfield options and will anybody have to leave Anfield now?

What kind of player is Thiago? How good is he?

Put quite simply, Thiago is one of the world’s best midfielders – and one of the most successful.

He has won a major league title nine times in his 10 seasons (since he started played enough games in a season to qualify for a medal) – two with Barcelona and seven in a row with Bayern. He has also won the Champions League twice, once with each team.

“There is a lot of reason to get excited,” German football journalist Raphael Honigstein told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Euro Leagues podcast.

“Liverpool fans should consider themselves very lucky because they are picking up an absolute superstar who could probably play in any team in the world.

“Thiago is in the form of his life. The way he played in the Champions League, combining that skill and elegance with winning balls back. He makes it look effortless.”

Thiago also has huge international pedigree. Born in Italy, he plays for Spain, the country where he was raised, even though his father Mazinho (a 1994 World Cup winner) and brother Rafinha – both Brazil internationals – tried to persuade him to play for their country instead.

Perhaps the biggest compliment is that when his former Barca boss Pep Guardiola took over at Bayern Munich, he said: “I spoke to the club and told them about my concept and told them why I want Thiago. He is the only player that I want. It will be him or no-one.”

How does he compare to Liverpool’s midfielders? How will be fit in?

Jurgen Klopp and Thiago
How will Thiago get on under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool?

Thiago is a central midfielder – although he can play any role in that area. He is capable of playing as a defensive midfielder, as a box-to-box player or as a number 10 if needed.

Last season he only managed three goals, and made no assists, in the Bundesliga. He only played twice in the nine league games after the restart because of a groin injury – although he did feature in their German Cup and Champions League final wins.

He completed more passes in the Bundesliga than any Liverpool player managed in the Premier League last season despite playing significantly fewer minutes than Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum.

His passing accuracy of 90.5% was only slightly edged by Wijnaldum (90.8%).

He had more recoveries (195) and made more interceptions (45) than any of Liverpool’s midfielders, although Henderson and Fabinho put in more tackles.

Only Henderson created more chances (27 to 20), while Wijnaldum (15) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (10) had more shots on target than Thiago’s nine.

Thiago led all Liverpool’s midfielders in dribbles attempted (85) and completed (71).

ThiagoFabinhoHendersonKeitaMilnerOxlade-ChamberlainWijnaldum
Games24283018223037
Chances created20192715101718
Shots 18122012124036
Successful passes1,6261,3731,5686026505831,476
Interceptions4534301062217
Dribbles completed7191723102941

Honigstein said: “It adds something to that Liverpool midfield, which doesn’t quite have that skillset. The idea is to rotate a lot more.

“There will be so many games. This will be the shortest, most insane season ever, so to rotate players around is going to be brilliant for a team who play with so much energy.”

Why are Bayern letting him go?

It may come as a surprise that Bayern Munich are letting a player go who started and excelled in their Champions League final win over Paris St-Germain last month, for a relatively cheap fee.

But his contract would have expired next summer.

“Bayern are letting this happen – which is slightly negligent,” said Honigstein. “They tried to renew his contract late on. Now he is coming to Liverpool for a very small sum.

“Bayern didn’t have much choice in the end. They didn’t want to run down his contract, he didn’t want to run down his contract.

“He was agitating for Liverpool and Bayern to come to a decision. Bayern need to generate some money before they can spend again, such are the effects of coronavirus.”

Does it mean Wijnaldum will leave?

Georginio Wijnaldum
Georginio Wijnaldum has scored 19 goals in 188 games for Liverpool since his 2016 move from Newcastle

There had been reports that Liverpool’s 29-year-old Netherlands midfielder Wijnaldum could be allowed to leave this summer – with Barcelona interested.

James Pearce, the Athletic’s Liverpool reporter, told 5 Live: “Until the past few days the club’s stance was they would only firm up their interest in Thiago if they were to lose a midfielder and Wijnaldum was the obvious one.

“I don’t think it is inevitable Wijnaldum will go because since he has returned from international duty, the word has been he has knuckled down and wants to stay with Liverpool.”



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‘Absolute madness’: professor blasts public funding of aged care for those who can afford it | Australia news


It is “absolute madness” to have the taxpayer fund aged care for those who can afford to pay for their own care through their assets, a professor of health economics has told the aged care royal commission.

Prof Michael Woods gave evidence on Tuesday as the commission turned its attention to transparency around funding of the aged care sector, and how that money is spent.

Woods, from the University of Technology’s centre for health economics research and evaluation in Sydney, said taxpayers currently paid most of the cost of subsidised aged care, but this was unsustainable given the ageing population.

Those elderly who could afford it should be required to pay more for some of the subsidised services that they consumed, he told the commission.

In his witness statement, Woods described how the family home had largely been protected from aged care support means tests, but he told the commission there were fair and equitable ways for Australians who owned their own home to contribute more to the cost of their aged care.

“It’s absolute madness to have the taxpayer, just because a person has got old, suddenly paying for all of these things,” Woods told the commission.

Asked by counsel assisting the commission, Peter Gray QC, if there would be merit in establishing a social security scheme to fund aged care, which people would contribute to throughout their working life, similar to compulsory super, Woods said there were too many uncertainties with such a scheme and little net gain.

“I mean, who knows what state of health a 20-year-old will be in when they’re 85 and whether they might be needing some of these services, or what services will be available by then,” he said.

“What if they still have a partner who can help them? Who pays for those who can’t make the mandatory payment – is it the taxpayer? You are not only are paying your contribution now as a working person, but also paying taxes for [others]. I just think there are too many uncertainties and that there is no net gain.”

Woods also told the commission there needed to be greater transparency around the commonwealth home support program (CHSP), a government-subsidised service to help senior Australians access support services to live independently at home. There was no way to know how many people were waiting for or had missed out on the program, he said.

“There are waiting lists for CHSP … but we don’t know what they are,” he said. “They’re just people who don’t get the service they want or any service at all. And they get something else instead.”

On Monday, the former prime minister Paul Keating told the commission he supported people funding their own care through their assets because superannuation was no longer enough as Australians lived longer.

Keating proposed a “post-paid” funding model where the commonwealth would provide aged care loans that would be repaid through people’s assets after their deaths, including through the sales of property and shares and through any unused superannuation.



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Ricky Ponting warns of ‘absolute disaster’ for Cricket Australia over Steve Smith’s captaincy return


Just over two years ago, Australian cricket was desperate for a captain of Ricky Ponting’s stature.

With the respect of the team’s two most experienced leaders in tatters, another Tasmanian was thrown in the deep end and named Test skipper.

Tim Paine has proven himself more than worthy of the honour, but earlier this year, Ponting asserted the cause of the infamous ball-tampering scandal was a lack of leadership within the squad.

Although the disgraced trio were being relentlessly castigated by the sporting world, Cricket Australia left a door cracked open for Steve Smith. While CA slapped Warner with a lifelong ban from all captaincy roles, Smith was told he’d have to wait 24 months.

In Ponting’s eyes, this suggested CA were keen for the New South Welshman to eventually reclaim the title of Australian Test captain.

“If Cricket Australia had thought he would have never done it again, they would have put a black line through his name right from the start, but they’ve left that option open,” Ponting told news.com.au.

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The long-awaited return of Steve Smith at Edgbaston last year was unforgettable — even as boos continued to roar throughout the Ashes series, the blonde phenom had won back the respect of his country, for the most part.

Ponting has no doubt Smith is capable of serving as Paine’s successor when the wicketkeeper decides to step away from the game — potentially after the 2021/22 Ashes series — but warns of a pending “disaster” if fans are not on board.

“The public sentiment certainly has changed, and that’ll be the interesting thing to see,” Ponting said.

“It’ll be if the Australian public are willing to allow him to come back and be captain again, because if Cricket Australia made that announcement that he’s going to be captain and it didn’t sit well with the public, then it’ll be an absolute disaster.”

No Australian has won more Test matches as captain than Ricky Ponting — without even mentioning his batting accolades, he is remembered one of the country’s most distinguished sporting leaders.

The Tasmanian maestro exemplifies the resilience and grit required to be successful in the game’s longest format. As Twenty20 cricket continues to grow in prevalence, his tally of 13,378 Test runs is unlikely to ever be surpassed by another Australian.

The coronavirus outbreak made a disturbing resurgence in Victoria, throwing the state’s sporting calendar into chaos. After the AFL’s players frantically flocked into other states, questions were asked whether the MCG could still host the Boxing Day Test match against India.

Although Adelaide Oval has emerged as a favourite to assume the Boxing Day duties, Ponting is hopeful the COVID-19 situation will be resolved in time for Melbourne to host the sport’s premier event. Still, you won’t need two chances to guess which venue the Tasmanian wants as the understudy.

“I’d like to see it in Hobart,” Ponting said with a giggle.

“But I’d love to see Cricket Australia do everything in their powers to try and ensure that the Boxing Day Test does stay in Melbourne.

“All the venues around Australia are brilliant, and they’re all unique in their own different way. Adelaide is one of the best places that I’ve been to to watch or play cricket, certainly over the last 4-5 years since they’ve renovated the stadium. I’m sure they’ll have their hand up, as will Perth and Brisbane. Everyone will be throwing their hat in the ring.

“I just hope that things have improved enough in Victoria that it doesn’t move.”

Next summer also features a mammoth Big Bash League, the longest in the competition’s history. After commencing in early December, the tournament will run for more than two months before a grand final in February.

Considering several cricketers were publicly sceptical about the BBL’s duration last summer — most notably Chris Lynn — extending the competition came as a surprise to many.

“There will be reasons why the schedule will be longer. There was some negativity last year — certainly from the players — that they found last season a little bit too long,” Ponting conceded.

“In an ideal world, Cricket Australia and the broadcasters would like to compress it down, but I just think with the unique situation that we find ourselves in this year, I just don’t think anything’s going to be perfect, like we’ve seen with the AFL season.”

With the ongoing travel restrictions and condensed international schedule, Ponting warned the upcoming Big Bash might not feature many high-profile names.

“Who knows if they’ll even have internationals playing in it this year,” Ponting said.

“The standard of the cricket might not be what it was the past couple of years.”

Ponting is currently preparing to travel to the United Arab Emirates for the postponed 2020 Indian Premier League — the 45-year-old coaches the Delhi Capitals, which boasts a squad featuring the likes of Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis.

But throughout the chaotic COVID-19 lockdown, Ponting has been working on a cherished side project, launching a wine label with his wife, aptly named Ponting Wines.

“It was something we had never thought about. We’re both very passionate wine drinkers and have learnt a lot about wine over the last 10-15 years, but we’d never thought about having our own label until it was presented to us,” Ponting said.

“We thought, ‘Why not? Let’s have a crack at this.’

“When I get involved in something, I want to be fully involved and it’s not just something Rianna and I have have just stuck our name on. It’s our business and it’s something we’re proud of, and we think it could be something that could hopefully last with our family name on it for years.”

The process of establishing a wine label started 18 months ago and officially launched during the pandemic in May. With the help of South Australian winemaker Ben Riggs, Ponting Wines has proven a success with its consumers.

“Through the last 5-6 months of COVID, it’s been something that we’ve been able to look forward to working on together every day,” Ponting said.

“You won’t go far wrong with the Shiraz. The sales of the Shiraz have been extraordinarily strong. The other one that we’ve had some great feedback on was the pinot noir out of northern Tasmania.

“I wanted to tie a bit of my background and my upbringing into this range, so we’ve got two wines out of northern Tasmania.”

Last week, CA announced a 21-man squad for September’s short-format tour of England. Along with the usual suspects, a trio of uncapped young guns — Riley Meredith, Daniel Sams and Josh Phillipe — were named in the squad.

“We’ve got some of our all-time best white-ball players playing right now, and I think it’s a great time for those young guys to be learning from them,” Ponting said.

“Even someone like Daniel Sams — he’s not young, but he’s not played international cricket, and I think he’s got a lot to offer. No better tool for a young bloke than to go to the UK and play against a really good England team, and I’m sure those young guys will learn a lot.

“Both Meredith and Phillipe look like they’re outstanding talents, and the sooner we get to see them represent Australia, the better.”

Former Australian captain George Bailey was partly responsible for the bold selection — Ponting’s ex-teammate played his final professional cricket match in January and has served as a national selector since.

“It was a terrific appointment — George is just a great bloke, as simple as that,” Ponting said.

“He’s a very good communicator, which I think is crucial in that selection role. If there’s been any negativity through the history of cricket selection in Australia, it’s been that the communication between selectors and players hasn’t been as good as it could be, and George is certainly going to make that a focus of his.

“I’m sure he’ll nail it.”

The other notable retirement of 2020 was more recent — last week, Indian cricket icon MS Dhoni stepped away from the game after attaining 17,266 runs, 359 sixes, 16 centuries and 634 catches in international cricket.

Dhoni is expected to still feature in the upcoming IPL, and Ponting looks forward to seeing the modern great work his magic once more — but hopefully not against Delhi.

“I spend a lot of time in India now, so I know how revered he is in that part of the world. Even when you travel around the world and you listen to cricket fans, they talk about Dhoni and his leadership and how calm he seems to be under pressure on the field,” Ponting said.

“He never seems to let his emotions get the better of him, which is a really good trait in a leader — as hard as I tried when I was on the field, I could never quite stay in complete control of my emotions.

“Indian teams always seemed to lift when he was captain. He always seemed to have this knack to be able to get the best out of his players. You knew that he had things under control, and his teammates loved that about him.

“Chennai have been one of the most consistently strong and competitive teams in the IPL, and a lot of that’s got to come down to his leadership as well.

“I’m looking forward to coaching against him now and making sure he doesn’t win any game off his own bat when Chennai play the Delhi Capitals.”

The 2020 IPL tournament is scheduled to commence on September 19th before a grand final on November 8th.



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‘Absolute war’ launched on cheap shots as Demon hit first


Calls from past AFL greats to stamp taunting out of the game appear to have been answered after Aaron vandenBerg cost Melbourne a shot at goal for shoving an Adelaide opponent while he was on the ground.

The moment occurred on the quarter-time siren of Wednesday night’s Demons-Crows clash after Jake Melksham had taken a mark against Fischer McAsey.

VandenBerg attempted to rub salt in the young Crows’ wound by pushing him in the back, but he was left with his egg on his face when the umpire ruled it a free kick, denying Melksham an opportunity to kick the Demons 10 points clear.

It mattered little in the end result as Melbourne piled on seven goals to one in the final term in a 51-point win, but it was a statement by the AFL after Richmond’s Tom Lynch avoided a free kick for shoving Alex Witherden in the back of the head on Tuesday night.

Lynch was subsequently fined $500 but it’s the embarrassment of costing your team a goal that promises to drive the eradication of a blight on the game Hawks great Dermott Brereton says has only crept in recently.

“It’s not something that’s been going on for years that we’re clamping down on,” Brereton said on Fox Footy.

“This has crept into the game. And we can talk about yesteryear, whether (it’s) better, worse, whatever. (But) players didn’t do it.

“There was a respect for players. You didn’t do stuff like that. This has crept into the game.

“There’s got to be a respect for your opposition that you don’t have to denigrate them to this level. Pay the free kick, and let’s stop this rot.”

EDDIE: AFL WAGING ‘ABSOLUTE WAR’

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said the league’s footy boss Steven Hocking was waging “absolute war on this type of play”.

“The smart alec cheap shot – whether it’s a missed goal or a missed tackle or whatever, and it’s cost Melbourne a shot at goal,” McGuire said.

“This is what the AFL is wanting to stamp out. They think it is just absolutely no good whatsoever. They think that this is just a shocking look.”

Fellow Fox commentator David King said paying a free kick was the quickest way to stamp it out.

“You’re 3-5, you’re battling in this game,” he said of Melbourne. “You’re not flying. That goal is priceless.”

King added coaches could also have an impact. “The coaches say ‘hey, you just cost us a goal’ … I guarantee you through selection, and those sorts of things, they’ll correct it pretty quickly,” he said.

It comes after St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt called on players to take a united stand against it after Lynch’s blow to Witherden.

“I think it’s got to be down to the players as a fraternity to come together and get rid of that stuff that’s crept in,” Riewoldt said on Fox Footy.

“I don’t think it does anyone any favours. It doesn’t look good for Tom Lynch, it doesn’t look good for the game.”



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‘An absolute necessity:’ Why this expert says China desperately needs a digital currency



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China has been pushing forward its plans to launch a digital yuan, with the aim of becoming the first country in the world to offer a digital sovereign currency. 

After launching trials of the Centralized Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC, in four Chinese cities—Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and Xiong’an—in May, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, is now in talks with private companies to expand its test run. Major firms such as China’s largest ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing and food delivery giant Meituan Dianping are among the candidates to roll out the digital yuan on a large scale through their wide-reaching platforms.

“Trial needs to be underway,” said Lucy Gazamarian, senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong and co-chair of the blockchain committee of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong. Thorough testing of the digital currency is key, she says, because financial stability is at stake.

“You’re looking at rolling out a new digital currency, it’s a leap in innovation,” she said. “[I]t’s the first time we’re going to have money that we program to do things automatically; that has functionality.”

In an Eastworld Spotlight conversation with Fortune’s Clay Chandler, Gazmararian discusses Beijing’s digital yuan ambition and the challenges presented by the initiative, as well as the CBDC’s potential to elevate the renminbi to a reserve currency. The conversation below has been edited for length and clarity.

Fortune: What is DCEP and what has triggered the development of the Centralized Bank Digital Currency?

Lucy Gazararian: The DCEP, Digital Currency Electronic Payment, is China’s version of the CBDC. Many central banks have been looking at this for over five years. China was the first mover into this space [in 2013]. They’ve acknowledged themselves that it was the rise of Bitcoin that spurred a call to action to really take control of the money supply and different currencies that were coming into our world. That was a real trigger because central banks realized and appreciated that the technology that underpinned Bitcoin, for example, could be modified for the fiat world. Central banks have appreciated that this is an exceptional new innovation; that it’s a very exciting pool payments and payment systems [that has] the ability to really upgrade our payments infrastructure.

Tell us a bit about the trials in China.

It’s entirely reasonable that [Beijing] should be conducting pilot programs. You’re looking at rolling out a new digital currency, it’s a leap in innovation. It’s the first time we’re going to have money that we program to do things automatically; that has functionality. It’s natural that you [will] want to test that out very rigorously because you don’t want to roll out a digital currency that fails when you’re talking about financial stability of the whole country. But let’s not forget there are 680-plus cities in China. We’re talking about four [in the pilot], so it’s a way to go.

PBOC is taking a step back and looking at companies like DiDi. It got 90% of the ride-hailing business in China and has hundreds of millions of customers. Didi is an example of these Internet giants that China is so famous for—[such as] Alibaba and Tencent—that have incredible ecosystems that offers a whole range of products and services. You could order a taxi, get food delivery, send a parcel, book theatre tickets, go on a holiday, it’s all in one space, it’s a platform. 

The trial needs to be underway. There’s a whole digital wallet integration that needs to be thought through…They are making sure they’re optimizing the functionality and ensuring integration. 

Why is Beijing pushing for digital currency development? What can the government obtain from this?

It’s become, as China itself has said, a technical inevitability. It’s not about whether they should embark on this undertaking, it’s an absolute necessity. And it makes sense because look at our lives, increasingly we live our lives online. We have tech-enabled lives and are moving towards a digital economy; a digital economy which includes tokenization. 

The new digital economy needs digital money. It needs fiat money in a digital format. Otherwise you’re having the threat of Bitcoin or Libra coins, or other coins that have the technology that can integrate into the new digital economy. So it’s an absolute necessity that China, as well as every other central bank, upgrades their currency.

When will we see a large-scale roll out of CBDC?

As I said earlier, we know about testing in four cities, and you know arguably there’s still 600 to go. Whether they’re gonna need to test it right across, or they will then just roll out, let’s wait and see. But we are expecting certainly phase one of this rollout to happen, I would say before the end of this year or certainly next year.

How will data be used by central banks and how will the central bank reassure people about the privacy of their data?

The data you are going to collect, there are two sides to it. On one side, the data that they’re going to collect, given they are going to be able to engage the complete economic activity of a country in realtime, that data will be recorded on a blockchain-type network, distributed ledger, we don’t know exactly. So the government will have access to all of that. On the [other] hand, it will enable the central bank to do their job more effectively. Because rather than having a lag in economic data, they’re monitoring all the spending, the transactions, money supply, inflation implications, all in realtime… Tracking where people go in the world, because CBDC will be available to Chinese as they do business in other countries. It’s almost a sort of a way to track an individual. So there are big alarming questions that need to be properly considered when it comes to privacy and anonymity.

The technology is there to enforce anonymity, but it’s a question of are they going to implement it? Is that something that they’re going to build into their currency? Time will only tell if different central banks come up with their versions of digital currency, as they say there is no one-size-fits-all, they’re all going to be different and likely to reflect the values and culture of their citizens. Are we just going to accept that all governments get to have this data like we’ve kind of accepted with tech giants like Facebook? No one has really done anything about it.

Could renminbi rise up as the world’s reserve currency through CBDC?

If [China] wants its currency to flow more freely outside of its own borders, it has the technological capability to do that. There’s so much trade happening in the Belt and Road [Initiative], 60-plus cities, and there is not a universal currency. The U.S. dollar is still the currency that needs to be translated, most huge transactions need to flow through the U.S. dollar. So there is a case for the CBDC to become a universal payment instrument in emerging countries as part of the Belt and Road, then [maybe] it could rise up as the world’s reserve currency for emerging countries.

We are [still] so early in this journey. At the end of the day, user adoption of any currency is going to take time. We need all these currencies to be developed and launched. It’s very difficult to say that a digital currency from China is going to be the new world reserve currency because the others have not launched yet. The U.S. dollar has dominated global trade since the end of World War II. It is so integral to our world economy, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

The U.S. now has a digital dollar project; they are very aware of what is necessary. They know for a digital economy, you need a digital currency. So it’s a matter of time.

Does the pandemic in a way provide a kind of boost to the effort to move to a digital currency?

Absolutely. In the U.S., [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi mentioned the digital dollar in her speech, and it was sadly tied to coronavirus, COVID-19. Suddenly, there was an absolute apparent use case. How do you get money immediately overnight into the hands of those that most need it? It is not by posting checks in the mail, it’s really not. If [people] had a digital wallet, they wouldn’t even need a bank account. They just need to use their smartphone and the Fed could theoretically directly deposit funds into their digital wallet. And that was so powerful. 

I think for America, it was Libra and coronavirus that really triggered action [to develop CBDC]. And China, they’ve said it themselves, it was the threat of Bitcoin.

This story is part of Eastworld Spotlight, a series of conversations on matters of business, tech, and finance with executives, experts, entrepreneurs, and investors in Asia. Subscribe to Fortune’s Eastworld newsletter to get them in your inbox.

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